Thursday, April 01, 2010

Bill O'Reilly denounces the hate -- but wants to pretend it's the same on both sides.

Billo does what he does best; he distorts the violence brewing in the United States at the moment as, somehow, happening "on both sides".

That's now how it looks from the other side of the ocean, and it's not how this is seen by Eugene Robinson.

It is dishonest for right-wing commentators to insist on an equivalence that does not exist. The danger of political violence in this country comes overwhelmingly from one direction—the right, not the left. The vitriolic, anti-government hate speech that is spewed on talk radio every day—and, quite regularly, at tea party rallies—is calibrated not to inform but to incite.

Demagogues scream at people that their government is illegitimate, that their country has been “taken away,” that their elected officials are “traitors” and that their freedom is at risk. They have a right to free speech, which I will always defend. But they shouldn’t be surprised if some listeners take them literally.
Robinson is quite right to lay the blame where it belongs, at the feet of Fox News and talk radio where the truth appears to have been long ago surrendered to a desire to "get people angry".

Fox News - and O'Reilly isn't, in fairness, the worst at doing this, that honour goes to Glenn Beck - have been hitting a hornet's nest with a large stick for months and months now, so it's disingenuous of them to pretend that this violence, which is so outraging them, shouldn't have been foreseen.

I've said it before:
The danger in getting people angry, is one can never predict what they will do. It's one thing to inspire debate, even heated debate, but to hope that people, "stay angry" is to play with fire. Anger, by it's very nature, is rarely rational.

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